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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  March 25, 2016 2:00pm-4:01pm EDT

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>> i don't think he wants to add anything. >> you have sent to congress that the european needs to step up their intelligence sharing. i noticed several people part of the brussels attack were on our lot -- on our watch list. we have increased our sharing of intelligence. i can speak from military to military level. i was speaking brought her to congress. intelligence agencies, military capabilities. we have locations to bring together our coalition partners. we think over 100 fighters have fighters -- 100 countries have fighters in syria in iraq. that gives you the magnitude of
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the problem we deal with. lifeall countries affected fighters are cooperating at the theenforcement level, intelligence community level, the military level, we will not have the kind of site picture to take action against individuals, prior to attacks like the one we saw in brussels. secretary carter: i should also mention a number of our european partners, to include belgium, in the last month and a half after counter-ministerial in brussels. belgians increase their -- i want to note the belgians have intensified their role in view
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of what happened in brussels. brussels and the tax that happened in paris, as you look at the type of person and other isis leaders in syria, can you tie this together -- do europe the attention to being directed from isis leadership? do you think this man, because he had external affairs involvement, was he involved in the paris or brussels cells? are there people in syria training them how to make bombs? what are the links you see between isis in syria -- secretary carter: we are not sure that this individual have anything to do with brussels attack, but the phenomenon you are describing is correct.
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the influences range all the way from fighters who have trained in and participated in isil operations, returning to their countries of origin. these many foreign fighters that the chairman was talking about are concerning dos. -- are concerning to us. right through our ones who are recruited or trained by individuals, but not have been in iraq or syria or been in contact with isil forces directly, through those who are simply inspired by, maybe get some general instructions from isil, but are otherwise self-motivated. there is a spectrum here that our law enforcement and counterintelligence colleagues are dealing with. >> yet we see the link between the paris -- secretary carter: there is no
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question that this individual and others have been part of the apparatus of isil to recruit and to motivate foreign fighters, both to return from iraq and syria to countries in europe and elsewhere, and also simply by using the internet and other communications to do so, no questions these leaders had that. >> the leaders you see in the paris and brussels cells -- what is your assessment? what do you think this cell that has emerged in europe, and several of them are going to syria by all accounts, do you think they are being directed by isis leadership, or even if that question to ask, being inspired by them to not have the expertise, equipment, technology to carry out these missions? secretary carter: it is relevant
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becausesecretary carter: we are wanting to eliminate people who are directing them. inspiration, just it takes you back to iraq and syria and the need to eliminate the sources of that inspiration, the idea that there can be an islamic state based on this .deology we are going to eliminate that image, and that is an important part of eliminating the inspiration, even if it is not direction. there is both direction and , and weion in shades need to combat them all. [indiscernible] i cannot speakr: for the paris and brussels cells. that is a law enforcement matter. my impression is it is a mixture of some who are inspired, either by the internet or by a friend or associate or family member who himself did travel to iraq
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and syria. i think you see that mix and what we already know of the cells involved in paris and brussels, but i will not presume i know everything that the french and elgin law enforcement -- belgian law enforcement no. >> one last question. it seems for months that the has beenagainst isil slow. you mentioned that the momentum is now clearly on your side. are we as a point where there is a turning point? is we seeing signs that isil beginning to crack? -- are weing the turning the corner? secretary carter: we are weight andboth the nature of our tax.
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we continue to learn about who is who in isil so we can kill irem, how we get ther finances, and the forces that we are working with on the ground, both in iraq in syria, continued to gather strength, because our strategic approach for the retaking of territory is to help local forces to do so. you see both in iraq, the iraqi security forces, first with ramadi, and other towns up the euphrates valley, and the envelopment of mosul, gathering that momentum with our help, and you see it also in syria with the taking of -- an example i gave at the top of my statement is in the taking of a town which is a key connection between cities, and the idea is to bisect -- dissect the tumor of
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a syrian side and its iraqi side. in all these ways, we are gathering momentum, broadening both the nature of the tools we use and that pure weight we are bringing. we talk aboutd: momentum. whether it is the ground they hold, the resources, we have started to affect their command and control. we have begun to undermine the narratives. there's a lot of work that remains to be done. at the same time, while isil has not been able to seize ground in months, thatral has not precluded them from conducting terrorist attacks, operations more akin to guerrilla operations. i think the momentum is in our favor. us to bereason for
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optimistic about the next several months, but by no means what i think we are about to break the back of isil or that the fight is over. secretary carter: one final note i will make, just to reinforce what the chairman said, one thing brussels our minds us of, essential as the military effort is an confident as i am that we are going to be successful in is military campaign, it necessary, but there is a critical law enforcement intelligence and homeland security ingredient to this. there are partners in this fight here and in other countries, and brussels is a reminder that fight is necessary as well, both in the european countries and any other potentially affected country like our own. with that, thank you. >> thanks, everyone.
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[captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] tonight we will look at anti-muslim groups in the u.s. .ith a duke university author be here on c-span at 9:30 eastern. this morning we took a look at the opioid epidemic in the united states and what is being done about on "washington
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journal." you can weigh in on the facebook page, where we ask how has the epidemic impacted your community? what is the heroin situation in maryland? it is a challenge in maryland, a challenge throughout the country. we have been grappling with it theseveral years before governor and i took office a year ago. but as we were campaigning in 2014, throughout the state, we were hearing from small towns, small communities, suburban communities, our largest cities that the biggest issue that the local law enforcement and providers were finding or had
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was heroine. the governor said once elected he would convene an emergency task force to come up with recommendations to try to address this particular challenge. host: what are some of the recommendations? in december last year, we had 32 recommendations, and they ranged from prevention and education, because one of the things we had is we have to stop the pipeline of new users. we also included treatment options, and the budget included additional money for treatment. we talked about quality of care and had proposals in terms of quality of care, because there is often discussion of treatment, which means -- inpatient treatment, but not everybody needs inpatient treatment. the question is how are we going to provide the treatment. so we have recommendations in that area.
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some of them had to do with legislation, and we are working -- we are still in our legislative session. we are working to make it mandatory for prescription drug monitoring, that doctors and prescribers and dispensers, meaning pharmacists, would have to query a database before actually prescribing or dispensing opiates. the reason for this, is that the new gateway drug to heroin is prescription opiates to my the oxycodone, percocet, things of that nature. 70 percent, 75% of new heroin users are coming off of prescription occasions. that is the real distinction between a lot of the drug problems we have had in the past and have currently, and what we're facing now with heroin. is there an estimate of what heroin use costs the state of maryland? we have not delved into
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that. i am sure we could. when you look at emergency rooms, when you look at the 2014 we from emt's, in had over 400 deaths from heroin overdoses, and just anecdotally, there is pretty much an assumption for every one heroin death there are eight or nine that survive an overdose. so they are still being treated in many cases in emergency rooms or at least with emt's. and then of course the family tragedies, the lack of production, the potential crime in most cases, petty crime that comes from it, and it is quite substantial. when you start looking at this, was there anything that surprised you? guest: what surprised us early
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on and before we even convened a task force was how pervasive the problem is. and particularly in some of the really small towns, i am not many listeners are familiar with the geography of maryland, but the maryland eastern shore is a rural area, and some of those towns may have less than a thousand people in them at a couple of the towns they said it is their biggest issues. in one particular town, the police chief, and i think there are probably about a people -- a thousand people, the police chief's of former baltimore city cop, and he said this is worse than what it was in the height of the crack at it and it that was infecting the larger cities. host: have you shared or learned anything from other states? constantly looking
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at other state and what they are doing. i was with the national lieutenant governors association this week and talking to some of the other lieutenant governors about what is going on in their states. aggressive been very in this area. that is a good example of how is that it has extended to small states like vermont, a small new england states, talking to the massachusetts lieutenant governor, some of the issues they have. we have learned quite a bit from other states. boyd rutherford's tenant governor maryland and also the heroin andchair on opioid addiction. thank you for your time. guest: thank you. >> the conversation is ongoing at facebook. about the entire issued this morning on washington journal and we will show that you again at 4:30
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eastern on c-span. increasedd for horses until the 1930's. starting in the 1930's, and 1940's, you have an almost complete replacement of forces as work animals on farms. i believe that i read in the decade after world war ii, we had something like a horse holocaust, that the horses were no longer needed, and we did not get rid of them in a very pretty way. gordonay night, robert discusses his book "the rise and fall of american growth." often thing that impactts people is the
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of superstorm sandy on the east coast back in 2012. that wiped out the 20th century for many people. the elevators no longer worked in new york. the electricity stopped. you could not charge your cell phone. you cannot pump gas into your car because it required electricity to pump the gas. electricity of the and the internal combustion engine to make modern life possible is something that he will take for granted. >> sunday night at 8:00 eastern. an expert on aging has written a book the upside of aging. he spoke about the current state aging in the united states and around the world, focusing on 80 rumors and millennials. this is about an hour.
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>> it's my pleasure to introduce paul irving who is chairman of the milken institute center for public aging. he's also a distinguished scholar and resident at the university of california davis school of gerontology. paul previously served as the milken institute's president and also as an advanced leadership fellow at harvard. previously he was chairman and c.e.o. of minett, and is the author of a wonderful book called "the upside of aging," how long life is changing the world of health, work, innovation, policy, and purpose. a "wall street journal" expert panelist and regular contributor to the huffington post, paul is
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also a director of the bank i work for, east west bank. he's a member of american society of aging. encore.org where he serves as vice chair and is also a member of the board of counselors of the u.s.c. davis school. he's got a tremendous, tremendous record of public service, and i know that you will be very interested and fascinated by paul's presentation today. please join me in welcoming paul irving. [applause] mr. irving: thank you, gordon. i want to thank town hall. i want to welcome all of you. i see i've got some old friends, partners, and family here. today we are going to do about a year's worth of work in around 25 minutes. which is going to be a challenge. i want you to bear with me.
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but i hope what's going to happen is by the time we leave today i will have provoked your interest and some thinking and maybe some table top conversation for your own families and colleagues and workplaces and friends because global aging is changing our lives and is changing the planet, really, as much as anything, that we are experiencing in humanity. so let's go. we know that life spans have about doubled in the last 150 years. for almost all of human history life spans were in the rage of 30 to 40 years. we have doubled it. that's certainly one of the greatest accomplishments in the history of mankind. we know that the reasons for that are advancements in sanitation and safety, medical advances, obviously, the advent of antibiotics and the like. but before we go farther, i want to give all of you a test.
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after all i'm not spending today at u.s.c., so i certainly feel that i should at least include some kind of quiz in this process. in 1917, king george v sent a congratulatory telegram to every citizen of the british empire who was at least 100 years old. does anybody know the answer to how many he sent? guess? guesses? the answer is he sent telegrams to seven men and 17 women. in 2011, and this is by the way the last year that the crown has reported on this, in 2011 q.e. sent telegrams to all the centenarians that year. what i want to see is a show of hands. how many people think she sent 500? 500? 2,500? 5,000? 10,000? 20,000?
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you can't fall for the last number. the answer is 10,000. by the way, she sent about another 1,000 -- about another 1,000 to a group of people that had reached 105. so this just puts in perspective the kind of progression we are seeing. this gives you a sense of global aging. the map moves from 2015 to 2050. the world gets progressively redder and pinker. what you see is that aging is a phenomenon certainly across all of north america, across all of europe, much of asia, and much of latin america. in fact, actually the only areas of the world that aren't aging rapidly are some parts of the middle east and some parts of sub-saharan africa. aging is not only something that's occurring in front of our eyes, but frankly, is a permanent fixture for many of us. how many boomers do we have in the room? baby boomers?
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so baby boomers have been kind of led to believe not only are we the most important generation but we also the generation that represents an exception. that for some reason we are the demographic bulge moving through the snake, and when we are done things revert to normal. nothing could be farther from the truth when it comes to aging. aging is a continuing process that will progress as years go on. here's another way to look at the same thing. this gives you a sense of progression. 2015 to 2050, this by the way is net of the kinds of advances in medical science and bioscience that we are seeing every day that i'll talk a little bit about later. to put it in perspective, when social security was introduced in 1935, life spans in the united states averaged 61.7 years. social security, an import from
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germany, was viewed as a program to take care of those who were exceptions, the outliers who for some reason outlived life span norms. boy, have things changed. this is another thing we are experiencing. obviously, highly relevant to us in los angeles. people are not only getting older, but the older population is getting more diverse. that continues as you continue to spread beyond 2050. so the great challenges of aging are health, financial security, and purpose. let me talk about health to begin with. so we know with our aging population that we have a serious challenge with chronic disease. and obviously, with alzheimer's and other forms of dementia, our calculus is that fully loaded the cost of chronic disease to the united states every year is in the range of $1.3 trillion. again, that takes into account not just disease care, but takes into account economic losses.
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productivity and absenteeism and presenteeism, etc. the cost of chronic disease much of which is disease that we can impede, defer, places an extraordinary and growing charge on our population. by the way, let me say that the most powerful -- most powerful part of this is the opportunity that we have to improve prevention and wellness. about 4%, 4.5% of our federal health budget. we spend all of our money on treatment and care. we know we spent spend a lot of time fighting about the legitimacy or illegitimacy of obamacare and the like. what we know is investment in programs to affect obesity, mitigate smoking, it's going to have massive impacts. we have to think about why we don't invest more in them. alzheimer's, this is by the way just a medical care number.
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$226 billion in 2015. a growing number. we know about 50% of people over 85 suffer alzheimer's or some other form of dementia. that kind of connection between increasing longevity on the one hand and the risks of dementia on the other provide a great challenge to all of us. i want you to focus on this last number. there is some disagreement. this is a fidelity member. $220,000 is the estimated amount that a 65-year-old couple will spend between now and death, out of pocket on health care. here's the next slide. this is why that's important. so in the united states -- i'm going to focus on the u.s. for purposes of this conversation. but obviously, these are challenges not just in the u.s. but many other parts of the world. a majority of pre-retirees in our country, you can see the pie
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chart, have less than $100,000 in financial assets. do you remember the number that i talked about in the last slide? $220,000 in medical expenses alone. not housing, food, travel, transportation. $100,000 in financial assets. houston, we have a problem. so there's good news, and this is where i want to focus this going forward. and the good news is the culture of aging is changing. i bet if i had time to spend with each one of you what i'd find is that your attitudes are different than they may have been earlier in your lives. frankly different than those attitudes that might have existed with your parents and grandparents. a majority of baby boomers want to continue to work or work past age 65. that's a very good thing. why? because work is good for your health. and it's good for your wealth. traditional retirement can elevate a wide range of health risks.
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it is not good to move to a beach to play shuffleboard, to hang out in a rec center and wait to die. it is good to remain engaged and active and purposeful and productive. that's one of the things that we have to try to promote, all of us, and to live it, and i'll talk a little bit about how much difference that makes in just a second here. yale research, this is research done by a woman, a prominent researcher at yale university, found in a study she did that people who had a positive self-image of aging and sense of purpose in their lives lived an average of 7.5 years longer than those who didn't. this is a more important life extension factor than body mass index or smoking. if you want to live longer and live well, you want your family to live longer and live well,
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look in the mirror, change your attitudes about -- in my case no hair, but it may be white hair -- and i don't know why we lost our slide here, here we go. i'll go back, but the point is that this sense of purpose is not just soft. it's manifested in these kinds of numbers and this kind of research. rush medical center in chicago found people had a sense of purpose in their lives were 2.4 times more likely to remain free of alzheimer's. so this is kind of the traditional view, right? you get to the end whenever the end is. and you have the party. and you get the gold watch and go off into the sunset if you're in new york or boston, less true in los angeles. you probably have a house on the beach somewhere in florida. you go down to live with a bunch of people your old age, and you don't have much to do.
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well, fortunately, that's changing. ed glazer who is an e-con professor at harvard says the mid 20th century retirement boom seems like soft money of an aberration. the current rise of the working elderly is a reversion to form. sun city was developed by a really smart guy and opened just post-war, as we all know. by the way, the day it opened 0,000 people lined up to see the new housing product that dell webb had developed. dell webb was a smart guy. instead of buying expensive property in the urban core that involved mixed use and intergenerational engagement, he figured he would buy worthless desert land, put up -- create this new norm, and invest a lot of money in marketing. boy, was he smart in doing it.
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but this is not what people want anymore. aarp data shows that today about 90% of people over 50 years of old want to age in community and in place. so the question becomes, how do we change our urban environments and ensure not only intergenerational engagement, but the kind of health infrastructure, housing, education, work, and all the rest that keeps us vibrant, engaged, and connected. my friend at "the new york times," david, terrific guys who is interested in this subject, said this, i just love david's quote. "retirement and disengagement should be managed with a warning label saying, this is something you may not want to consume." so people who were innovative in their earlier lives can remain innovative and do even more important work as they get older. people who were prominent can become even more prominent as
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age progresses. people who were creative and took risks on stage can take even more creative risks as they move along in life. people who were explorers can continue to explore and explore new ways. and, yes, mick jagger, mick was wrong. mick was wrong. mick did in fact say i'd rather be dead than singing "satisfaction" when i'm 45. here's nick mick strutting at 72 and doing it more effectively than he did at 22. how is all this manifesting? this is coffman foundation data from 2012-2013, which shows the business creation, despite all the hyperbole every day. more business creation is coming
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out of middle-aged and older people than out of younger people. this, by the way, continues to progress. and not surprisingly in many ways those businesses are more successful. why? because older entrepreneurs had been bumped around. they have wisdom and judgment and experience. and the perspective of -- here we are. we need to move forward. and the perspective that creates more successful businesses. by the way, this is so important because we know that job creation comes from small and small- and medium-sized enterprises. not from large businesses. the opportunity for older people and encouragement for older people to begin new businesses couldn't be more important for them and couldn't be more important for the broader society. older people are returning to school in new ways. and the advent of new programs, both on campus and online, create a phenomenal new opportunities, and i think this
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is one of my messages, not just university leaders, who should be embracing a more diverse -- age-diverse cohort, but to older people, that the opportunity to refresh skills, learn new skills, reinvent, repurpose is fabulously important. academic institutions, these connections don't just provide information, they expand relationship networks. one of the challenges oftentimes as we move along in our lives is our relationship networks become static. we end up hanging out with the same people that we have hung out with for years. young people bump into new people all the time. that creates ideas, new ventures. so the opportunity for older people to engage in new educational programs just couldn't be more important for them and again for the broader society. encore.org, which i am a proud board member and metlife foundation did a study on older people who were interested in what we define as encore careers. these are careers involving purpose, passion and
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oftentimes a paycheck. we actually have an encore fellow sitting in our room. the notion is this potential to deploy the skills, the experience, the wisdom and judgment, exposures we have had in new ways to improve the world. and what encore and metlife found is 31 million adults, older adults, who were interested in these kinds of careers, nine million were already doing them. so again, a phenomenal opportunity to deploy this extraordinary human capital asset that we have. for any economists in the room, we talk a lot about kind of the expectations of retirement and the economic charge that that places on society. what we should be thinking is not that we have a necessarily underutilized human capital asset, we have an incredibly abundant human capital asset that's ready to be deployed to continue and grow productivity
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and frankly to improve the world. older adults volunteer, this is data that comes from the white house conference on aging that was held earlier this year, 20-plus million older adults, volunteering, 75 billion in contribution to the economy through their volunteer work. and by the way, many people think this underestimates the actual numbers. so let's turn for a second to economics. again, we are just touching on a range of subjects that each one of these could be an hour conversation. oxford economics and aarp did some analysis on the size of our longevity economy. that is, products and services and related economic output for those 50-plus in the united states. and what they found was if the longevity economy was a country, based on g.d.p., it would have the third largest g.d.p. in the world after the u.s. and china.
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and again, what's the opportunity here? when i'm speaking to young people, one of the things i say is, if you want to -- if you want a green field, if you want an opportunity to get involved in something that presents more exciting opportunities, think about the intersection of demography and innovation. at the intersection of demographic change and innovation is where economic growth occurs, and there could be no more exciting opportunity in that regard than the opportunity to serve older adults. so this is just some ideas. it ranges, obviously, from digital health tools and a range of technology options to, frankly, even things like the sharing economy. uber and lyft and others are beginning to think about how they could represent that last mile in getting people to the doctor's office or to their work environments. so the longevity economy presents a wonderful opportunity for not only for economic growth, for our country, but for
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new products and services as i new products and services. as i often say, a door that can fit a 25-year-old may not be able to fit a wheelchair, but a door that can fit a wheelchair can always fit a 25-year-old. architects need to think in new ways. designers, city planners. think about uber and the autonomous car. how many people in the audience have parent or have had a parent where the keys had to be taken away? and we live in southern california where we know how important that is. think of the potential of autonomous cars. think of the potential of this initiative that google has taken on and others are following quickly that would enable us to remain mobile for the rest of our lives, regardless of capacity. huge potential change in society. so because i have limited time,
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i want to leave you with a few thoughts. first, about millennials. so we think of aging that those of us in my generation and even in the generation before, the silent generation, would be most interested in. i tell younger people that they should be more focused on changes in aging and what longevity means to them than we are. why? first of all, the millennials, this is people between late teens and mid 30's, the largest, most diverse population in the united states. it is the least financially secure. a generation that we have, much less financially secure than early boomers or x-ers were at the same times in their lives. 56% you can see living paycheck to paycheck. negative savings rate, 26% living at home with their parents. homeownership rates extraordinarily low. why is that important?
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because these people -- these young people have the prospect of potentially much longer lives. i was speaking to one of my colleagues earlier about what longevity science is doing. we all know we are living in the generation after which the human genome was coded. used to cost a couple billion dollars, now it's almost free. massive advances are being made in longevity science. there's speculation that ranges from life extension that's just a couple years to people who speculate. there are actual scientists who speculate that lives of 200 years are likely in a generation. i discount that. i discount that, but i do believe that longer lives are ahead. and what that means is the definition of life course, the way people have looked at their
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lives, this is certainly true for us, but very much true for our kids, kind of a look in the rear-view mirror, how did grandma and grandpa and great- grandma and great-grandpa live their lives just isn't relevant anymore. and that's hard to fathom because it worked for almost all of human history. we could look back and say, life course was designed based on a series of patterns and practices that were developed by prior generations. but generations to come are going to reinvent life. and what that means is going back to school multiple times, and it means preparing for multiple careers. and when i'm speaking on college campuses to young people, i see eyes glazing over, how many of you are in relationships? about half the people in the room raise their hands. i say, how does a 90-year marriage strike you? that creates conversation. so even companies like google,
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so we all know google for search. we all know google for search. we now see google as created this new holding company called alphabet in which it's broken out its search business. one of google's businesses is called calico. it's run by a very smart guy named mark levinson, who used to be chairman and c.e.o. of genentek. he's got people at google working on radically extending lives. you see others here, buck institute. this is again something that's proliferating across the united states and the world. will they succeed? i don't know. i'm not a bioscientist. will they accomplish some improvements? yes. do i hope that they focus as much or more on the extension of health span as life span? boy, do i hope that. it's not just about longer lives, it's about better and
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healthier lives. but the point is, the narrative, the expectations, the culture, is just changing. so what i want you to think about, culture is changing for boomers, x-ers, millennials, and generations to come. for all of you, savings and investment are for more than a life of leisure. golf is just wonderful. if there are any golfers in the room, i don't mean to insult anybody. but i will tell you that work and focus on personal health and learning and philanthropy and purpose are not just drivers of the better world, they are drivers of personal health. ageism must be challenged to enable productivity and purpose. we know that ageism is still rife in our society. it's remarkable because you think it's the one characteristic, it's the only acceptable ism that still exists, it's ironic because it's the one characteristic we all have in common if we are lucky. so we need to enable people to continue to work.
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we need employers to think in new ways about transitional retirement, shared work arrangements, part-time arrangements, the other kinds of things that kind can accommodate human capital across the life span in new ways. and by the way, i'll say for any employers in the room, there's increasing evidence, research based data, that suggests that intergenerational work forces outperform same-age work force of any age. that older, younger workers bring phenomenal short-term memory, energy, creativity, disruption. older workers bring -- disruption i mean that in a positive way -- older workers bring balance and multisectorial cross problem-solving. and the mentorship, the opportunities to connect older people and young people are remarkable. moving either expressly or by implication older people out of
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your workplace is not good for business. let me tell you, some of the smartest employers in the united states now have work going on in the back of their shops. rather than matching two ph.d.'s from computers science from stanford who are 30, they are putting a 30-year-old and a 65-year-old together recognizing the power of that connection. so we need to address ageism. we need to take it on. we need to talk about it. and this is, i think, one of the great social challenges of our time. we need to increase our investment in prevention and wellness. i talked about lengthening health span. if we don't succeed in tackling chronic disease, don't succeed in deferring dementias, alzheimer's, and other forms of dementia, the public cost -- we do not have, despite all the political hyperbole, we do not have a social security problem in the united states. it's easily fixable. and it will be fixed. what we have is we have a medicare and medicaid challenge and it is massive.
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massive. and we can do remarkable things to reduce it if we have will. those remarkable things are principally focused on prevention and wellness. some of that requires personal accountability and responsibility. some of it requires policy change. some of it requires change in the workplace. something we have to focus on. the longevity economy presents a compelling opportunity for innovation, investment, and economic growth. for investors in the room, if you go back and look over the last 10 years or so at the companies that have experienced the greatest levels of growth, what you'll see is a remarkable connection between them and the aging population. so as people age, as they remain in workplaces longer, higher tax revenues, increased consumerism, changing tastes. yes, some people call it the "best exotic marigold hotel" phenomenal or "the intern" but it's bigger than that. the longevity economy is an
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investment economy opportunity not just to benefit older people across the age spectrum will change lives forever. my friend, mark friedman, who runs encore says the upside of aging amounts to a human capital windfall, capable of turning dependent ratios into a new source of abundance, not just the opportunity for more fulfilling lives, but the key to solving many of the social problems that ail us as a nation. one of the benefits of aging is perspective. even old rivals can get together and do things that are productive with each other. and guess what -- sometimes, sometimes later in life we can do the most important work of our lives and we can change the world. so john gardner, wonderful
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person who many of us read and care about and think about, professor at stanford, founder of common cause, experience corps, and form h.e.w. secretary said we are continually faced with a series of great opportunities, brilliantly described as insoluble problems. aging can be a great, great challenge. and it can be a huge problem, akin to climate change. this will be a problem, by the way, not just for the united states, but for populations across the world. but if we can figure out a way to engage our older adults, keep them healthier, keep them active longer, will not only dramatically reduce public costs but remarkably improve lives. so thank you. [applause] >> thank you so much. mr. irving: if i had more time -- >> we'll give "q&a" time. raise your hand and lindsay will bring your microphone to you.
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>> thank you. how did you get from being an attorney to becoming a specialist on aging? mr. irving: it's a great question. i'll give you the "reader's digest" version as my old partner knows. i finished a stint as the c.e.o. of and i suppose my choice was to go back and do what hi done for 30 years or so, to do deals. i was a guy who did m and a work and corporate finance work. but for some reason i felt something missing in my life that i wanted to do something that was contributing in some kind of different way. as i always say to people, some of those people say to me, was it hard to walkway from the money? i say to people, look, if you had a good corporate practice, you were always the poorest guy in the room, so nothing has changed. so i was fortunate enough to
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have opportunity to spend a year at harvard university. i did a fellowship at harvard with 19 other people. this was an extraordinary group of people who had led other organizations by and large and had been philanthropically involved, socially involved throughout their lives. so here we were, this was a group of people between 55 and 70 or so, called the harvard advance leadership initiative. and we were wandering the campus for a year trying to figure out our own pathways to new work. and i thought to myself, if it's this challenging for all of us, these are people we had the former minister of health of switzerland and the former transportation secretary of the united states and corporate c.e.o.'s and others, if it's this challenging for all of us, understanding the value of this cohort, how much it would be for others. i had this incredible sense of desire to contribute, desire to do things that could help the
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world, and yet this kind of challenge and understanding that it was possible. so we were kind of pioneers. that led me to think about the potential of older people as a human capital asset. i honestly believe the distinguishing characteristic in countries and in companies is human capital. financial capital is extraordinarily important. social capital, rule of law, etc., extraordinarily important. but i think the distinguishing characteristic, certainly true in a law firm and i think it's true in most enterprises, certainly true in what i do now, distinguishing characteristic is the human beings that come in the door every day. so i just had this notion that there was this wonderful potential opportunity to engage people for their own good and for the good of the broader society. and that's how i got absorbed. really interesting stuff. >> in order for people to age in
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place, they're going to need caregivers. i'm volunteer state president for aarp california, and that's one of our main priorities. in your opinion, what would be some of the policy priorities in order to meet this gap? mr. irving: it's an incredibly important question. as you know, there are about 50 million caregivers in the united states, paid and unpaid. some of the least understood and respected people with the most challenging work that we can do. among other things, and there are a lot of wonderful people, who are working on this. one of the things that we need to do is look at compensation and reimbursement. we need to professionalize care giving and uplift it. we need to connect caregivers who oftentimes are involved in the loneliest work that exists and don't have ongoing education, professional associations, connections. there's so much we can do. but i would say for all of us if
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you know a caregiver, say thank you. most of us will be caregivers at some time in our lives. and many of us will be caregivers for many years. we need to figure out ways to get people paid through both public programs and private initiative entrepreneurship. and we need to figure out a way to connect caregivers, educate them, professionalize them, and uplift them. and it's really important. >> isn't there going to be a collision between the technologically advanced millennials coming in to the marketplace, really without a place to go, in a way, and the baby boomers, who are not quite technologically advanced but want to stay on and keep working and will block these millennials coming in?
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i'm not making a value judgment. isn't there going to be a collision with a limited number of resources available to solve both problems? mr. irving: i would say two things. first of all, the operating assumption which is incorrect is that older adults aren't technologically proficient. they use technology at about the same rates at younger people. people don't understand that. it's true. they use it in different ways. they engage in social media on different sites than younger people, but they are about as technologically absorbed and adept. that's the first thing. the second thing is is that in this kind of intergenerational clash that people oftentimes talk about, shouldn't we -- let me ask the question in a different way. shouldn't we insist that older people leave the workplace to make room for younger people? there are people who ask me that. i want to respond to it to get it out. so it operates on a false economic theory, a static economic theory. an economic theory that is very
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similar to the economic theory employed to impede the progression of women in the workplace. and that is is if we simply add -- retain a population or add a new population, zero sum gain, don't some people lose their jobs? what it fails to understand is economies are dynamic. and what happens is you keep people working, they continue to pay taxes, they continue to consume. the economy grows. the more involvement we have in the economy, the better it is for everyone. so we might be able to point at specific examples where, for some reason, older people and younger people slash, but on a macrolevel, there is no question that retaining older people in the work force is not just good for older people, it's good for younger people as well. bigger, more robust economy, more longevity economy that i talked about, mentorship and intergenerational strength. and again economic growth.
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on the technology side, i just told you that i think the -- there are assumptions about the capability interest, technological inefficiency of older people is not true. [indiscernible] mr. irving: to me that's an argument for lifelong learning. i had a conversation with a group of young people who were engineering students. this was not too long ago on our campus at u.s.c. and i said to them, understanding this prospect of much longer lives and the rapid level of technological change, the things they are learning today will be as arcane as the flat earth by the time they are in their third or fourth job. the point is, for all of us, whether you are 18 or 38 or 58
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or 78, continuing learning something a really, really important characteristic of successful longevity. so we have to kind of change the narrative, change the norm that suggests that college -- i mentioned i spent some time at harvard university. harvard university opened its doors in 1636. in 1636, it made a tremendous amount of sense to say, we are not going to design a program around people who are 50 years old or 60 years old or 70 years old with life spans that time. we haven't changed those norms. i went to law school, we are teaching the same thing in law schools today in the same way that they taught 100 years ago at harvard. universities have to change. i have challenged university presidents on point, some listen, some don't, but to say you have a difficult financial model that now you're trying to revise. college has gotten too expensive for a lot of young people.
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young people are in extraordinarily levels of debt. if you have a consumer market, think of education as a consumer opportunity, if you have a consumer market that ranges between 18 and 80, why are you just going to focus that market on people between 18 and 26 or 27? i'm not discounting the substance like continuing education programs that hover around the periphery. why shouldn't a 45-year-old who decides that he or she wants to dig in and go get a ph.d., i promise you it won't happen in most departments in the united states, why shouldn't that person be able to do that, excel based on their experience, intensity, and focus, and drive compete for tenure and have more productivity scholarship, more productive years of scholarship in teaching than a person in their 20's might have had two generations ago?
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so we just have to change our thinking about institutions, again, workplaces, educational institutions, health institutions. this cuts across all of society. i hope i have answered. i have taken your question in a different direction. my point is younger people need to stay technologically proficient. older people do, too. i know young people who are engineers and computer scientists today that say five years out of school they feel like they lost their edge. you know what? they need to stay fresh and so do we. >> this has been a very informative and exciting presentation. i'd like to congratulate you on engaging all of us. my question is, life expectancy is oftentimes a function of the zip code you live in. so i would like you to comment on what are we doing to reduce that gap between those who live in the right zip code and those
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who don't? and that seems to me to be a very important issue as our country becomes even more diverse than what it is today. mr. irving: it's an extraordinarily important question. your question is, what are we doing? my answer is nowhere near enough. what do we need to do? we need to ensure that we don't have food deserts in urban environments in the united states where people are shopping because there is no other option, at liquor stores and quick serve restaurants. as a result experiencing obesity and ultimately ending up in the pandemic we know, the pandemic of type two diabetes. smoking, we have made great strides. we live in california where relatively few -- how many people -- smokers do we have in
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the room? nobody's going to answer. [laughter] the good news is is we made a lot of progress. about, depending on whose numbers you believe, around 17, 18, believe it or not despite all the litigation, advertising, about 17%, 18% of american adults still smoke. in poverty communities, carl, it can be as much as 30%. that's cancer. that's heart disease. that's challenges with high blood pressure. there are things that we can do that are extraordinarily simple. i remember tomorrow friedman not too long ago runs the c.d.c., extraordinary public servant, who said if he could do one thing to change public health in the united states, what would it do? it would be to measure blood pressure. it's a two-minute process. incredibly easy. we could be embedding this in schools, shopping centers, and workplaces. there is a lot we can do.
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we need to understand the stakes. we need to pay more attention to it. for those who care about communities of color, poverty communities, etc., the answers are pretty easy. for those who don't care, they should understand they care about their wallet. if they care about the public cost of public health that investment in these kinds of things, in healthy food, in safe streets where people can walk and get exercise, the impacts of exercise are just -- walking. remarkable public health impacts. if people don't live in safe neighborhoods, they can't walk. decent food, no smoking, little bit of walking, time with family. and productivity, engagements, some activity above the neck remarkable outcomes associated with that. >> how do we incentivize companies to hire people in their 60's and 70's even on a
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part-time basis? many don't. many don't even look -- when they see the age, they say, sorry. mr. irving: i think, again, david, that's a product of a misunderstanding about the capacity, the capability of older adults and what older adults bring to the workplace. this is why research is so important at this stage of my life i have become incredibly data driven because i realize that i can make an impassioned plea to people who may agree with my politics, may agree with my social concerns, but unless i can demonstrate a case based on data and research, it's hard to change hearts and minds. again, as i suggested, intergenerational work forces will outperform. this is very much akin to. so work that's going on around employee health. the person who runs the robin wood foundation, another extraordinary public servant, is in regular discussion now with
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people who run private equity funds. why is she in regular discussion with people who run private equity funds? because she can make the case, and she makes a compelling case, that health, good employee health is not just the right thing to do, it's a strategy. it's a competitive advantage. again improving productivity. reducing absenteeism. improving engagement. these same kinds of things exist for older workers. i think -- look, we are in the first -- or ageism, first or second inning of a nine-inning game. we are in the very early stages of it. think of this as being the early sages of the civil rights movement. by the way, the civil rights act of 1964 didn't end racism and bias. the modern women's movement. we still don't have pay equivalence. we are in a very, very long game to change hearts and minds about aging.
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i think you begin to see progress. and it's something all of us need to speak about. by the way, i would say this. my friend, alan goodman, started a wonderful organization, might have heard of it, called the conversation project. conversation project is kind of a table top conversation about death. and about the inputs that people want. life planning and health choices, personal choices at the end of life. if you haven't read it, a book being mortalized. wonderful book about the end of life care and choices. but we haven't started a conversation about age. it i know we are coming to an end, or close to an end here, if i could give all of you some homework, the homework i'd like to give you is to go home to your families and friends and to your kids and have a conversation with them about what your later lives should look like and what their later lives might look like.
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michael eisner, who was the chairman and c.e.o. of disney started a foundation focused on kids, now focused on kids and older adults. michael said something in a session with me not too long ago i thought was extraordinarily insightful. he said when you meet a new child, when you meet somebody's kid, you kind of get down at their level to have a conversation and you ask them whether they are interested in sports or dance or what their hobbies are oftentimes the conversation -- and oftentimes the conversation leads to the following question, what do you want to do when you grow up? michael said, it's the wrong question. he said the question should be, what do you want to do when you get old? and i just thought it was a wonderful way to ask ourselves this question about what aging
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should be for each one of us and for our community and our broader society. >> one question i got for you. economically. united states is controlled by 1% of the people. and people are working 24/7 just to support a family. we are talking about sitting with the children in the house and asking them, when do they have the time to do that because they go to work at 6:00 in the morning and come back at 10:00 at night. and we have -- we are creating not leaders, just followers. mr. irving: i wish i had an easy answer. it's a discussion we could have. i will say this. it raises an important point that's directly related to what i work on.
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that is for those of us the former lawyers and doctors and indian chiefs who have the luxury of doing other things in our lives, the pathways are relatively simple. for those for example involved in physical work, that may be back breaking work, the notion of continuing that work in 60's, 70's, 80's may be an impossible. that's why it's so important we democratize, lower case d, democratize this notion so that ongoing education can occur in high schools and community colleges and people can have the opportunity when they have time off, and they oftentimes don't, maybe nights, weekend, early mornings, maybe online, to learn new things. there was a question earlier about care giving. we have a massive need for caregivers. is it possible that somebody who was involved in construction work could be involved at some later time of life in some aspect of care giving where we
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have incredible need? that's going to require education, transitions, etc. we have to -- we can't just have this conversation at town hall. we can't just have it at 555 south lower. we have to have this conversation in south l.a. and we have to have this conversation in communities not just across the united states but across the world. you're very right. >> last question. >> hi, do you think there would be a time where the medical community and the holistic community will ever come together? so many people who are getting older in the medical community, they are on so many pharmaceuticals, how can they have a bright mind or try to go forward in a vital way? where the doctors don't want to go -- which is age-old medicines that has helped a lot of people,
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especially in l.a., and who help them live vital lives in more of a healthy way, nutrition, and herbs, yoga. is that ever going to happen? is that happening in the old retirement communities, insures wise, too? mr. irving: i get the question. i think we are seeing slow progress. at the end of the day incentives matter. the medical profession reimbursement matters, what you reimburse for matters. obamacare for the first time physicians can be reimbursed for end of life conversations. never happened before. you were 85, you had your annual check up, your doctor ran out of the office you said, doc, i want to have a conversation about what i want to do. do i want to have a do not resuscitate? but the doctor was off to his or her next appointment. today those conversations can occur reimbursed.
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we now see kind of a slow, slow coming together of east and west medicine. there actually are a number of physicians who embrace very much modern western medicine and some embed some notions for example, traditional chinese medicine, and other concepts. i think as a general proposition, this notion of prevention and wellness is becoming more powerful, but we all need to talk about it again as priorities. the medical profession was trained to treat. it wasn't trained to prevent. public health officials who are wonderful are not the people who are in offices with patients every day. rather than having conversations about, which we should about diet and exercise and nutrition and potentially health alternatives, we have
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conversations about cutting and slicing and all the rest because that's what we trained our doctors to do. we need to revise the medical training system. good news s. by the way, a.m.a. is actually interested in this. a.m.a. is taking this on. it's a long transition. this requires advocacy, requires discussion with one's own doctor, right? should i self-education, one of the great things about the internet is the opportunity to know a lot more about disease and about wellness. the negative thing is the internet oftentimes equally values information from the mayo clinic and from joe's health garage. if there is such a thing as joe's health garage. i don't mean to be impugning it. but you get my point. so we have to treat people to be smart consumers of health information. again, these culture change is really hard. it requires policy and practice change at the top. it requires movement building.
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a change in public narrative at the bottom. that stuff doesn't happy easily. it happens over time. >> please -- join me this thanking mr. irving. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016] >> cherry blossoms are in full bloom nestled among the monuments in the nation's capital. the jefferson memorial and the background. an estimated 1.5 million people will attend the national cherry blossom festival. all of this started because of first lady helen taft. >> when helen taft became first lady in 1909, 1 of the first things she did was having cherry trees planted. there was a speedway where people raised their carriages at a top speed of 15 miles an hour,
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but there was nothing to draw people to make it a beautiful place for people to gather and enjoy nature, and helen taft wanted to change that. one of the first things she did when she became first lady was asked for trees to be planted. they were requested from nurseries, but the japanese heard about it and decided to give 2000 trees to the united states and her honor, from the city of tokyo to the city of washington as a gift honoring american support. 2000 trees arrived in january, 1910. everyone was shocked. the trees that were sent were tall and bug infested, so president taft himself made the decision that they would have to be burned. the japanese were very accommodating and understanding and decided to send 3000 trees, which arrived in 1912.
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of the the north section title basin in view of the washington monument where many of the original trees have been planted. you can tell many of the older ones because they are wider. this is where helen taft would have planted the very first cherry blossom tree that came with the shipment of 1912. these trees would not be here if it were not for helen taft. while many people were in chanted all things japanese -- , it loved the architecture is down to her that they are here today. >> you can find out more about the series at firstladies. c-span.org. and a look at our prime time coverage here on c-span. wednesday's supreme court oral
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argument and a case challenging the supreme court health care mandate. anti-muslimins of groups and how perceptions of muslims are shaped in the united states. >> "booktv" has 48 hours of books and authors every weekend. this weekend, join us for the 27 -- 22nd annual virginia festival of the book in charlottesville. programs include author bruce hillman, who discusses "a man ," and saturdayin evening at 7:00, the professor emeritus of women's studies at the university of georgia on the firebrand and first lady, portrait of a friendship, on marie eleanor roosevelt and the
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struggle for social justice, exploring the relationship between the cofounder of the national organization for women and first lady eleanor roosevelt . patricia bell scott speaks with an author and historian at roosevelt house in new york city. sunday beginning at 1:00 p.m., more from the virginia festival of the book including kelly carlin, george carlin's daughter, who talks about her life growing up with the her book.n sunday night at 9:00, historian nancy cohen, author of : the making of america's first woman president," looking at women political leaders and the advances they are making in the political arena. she's interviewed by the chair and cofounder of cornell law women andenter for justice. >> for a woman to be at the head of the most powerful country in the world when one of our key allies does not allow women to
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drive and our most significant enemy at this time, isis, is literally executing women and girls simply for being women and girls, i think this sends a powerful message from the bully pulpit about what america stands for. booktv.org for the complete schedule. >> irs commissioner john cusk and yesterday warned that a cut in the agency budget could result in more people not complying with tax laws. from the national press club, this is just under an hour. [applause] welcome to tax season. americans have three weeks, 10 hours, and 58 minutes to get their federal returns filed, but who is counting? for our speaker, every day is tax a. he oversees the collection of more than $3 trillion every year
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. it seems every tax season generates a headline or two, just a few. this year, they include concerns who telephone or e-mail taxpayers asking for identifying information, something he says the irs would never do. and a presidential nominee contender claims the irs has audited returns for 12 years because he is "christian." oft fall, he was accused obstructing the federal investigation into allegations somers targeted conservative groups before the 2010 and 2012 elections. the judiciary committee has taken no action and the treasury secretary has vigorously defended him. our guest is the 40th irs commissioner. his career has included positions as the urs soccer foundation, acting ceo of freddie mac and chairman of the president's y2k council. he was also in the private
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center for two decades. no amount of irs trouble is going to put him in a bad mood this week. he is a super fan of the duke basketball team, and the thisental a final four weekend. ladies and chairman, please extend a warm welcome to john cusk and in -- ladies and gentlemen, please extend a warm welcome to john koskinen. [applause] commissioner koskinen: thanks very much for that warm welcome. after the description of what's going on at the irs and my job, i was thinking this would be a good time to leave. but i am committed to fulfilling my term. it's always nice to come. i always appreciate being invited back to speak here in the middle of tax season. you have already heard our public service announcement that the end is near. we hope all of you have filed. i am also always intrigued with the desserts.
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actually exchanged my cookie because i had the pig and i just did not think that was appropriate. much more appropriate is i have the dollar sign. i also appreciate being here during march madness because if i were not speaking here today, i would be spending a lot of money trying to get to anaheim for a particular game tonight that shall remain otherwise nameless, but as a showing of my gratitude, i will try to keep down to a minimum the reminders pretty soon.e due even my wife is tired of hearing about how close we are to april 18, but she is a good trooper and is here with us on the podium again. getting through my fun-filled 27 months as irs commissioner would not have an possible without her strong support, which i greatly appreciate. [applause] and i never dispute the notion
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that she is indeed the better half of this partnership. >> whoo! commissioner koskinen: that must be my daughter. that said, i am delighted to be speaking once again to a room that includes a number of journalists. reporters heregh i began to wonder if there was a presidential candidate lurking in the building. reporters asked me a lot of questions all the time, and believe it or not, i enjoy answering them because it gives me an opportunity to explain what we are trying to accomplish at the irs and especially what we are doing to improve the tax system and taxpayer service. one of my favorite questions so far was one i got last month when a reporter asked me what the public does not understand or appreciate about the irs that i learned while i been here. that was a great question, and a quickime, i gave answer. i talked about our dedicated employees and the work they do
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to help people file a return and be on time, but the question caused me to wonder what i would say on the subject is i had a captive audience for an hour. i will pause for a minute in case anyone would like to take the opportunity to leave the four i continue. now that i have been commissioner or a little more than two years, i have come to recognize there are a number of things taxpayers do not know or focus on about the agency. not anyone'ss is favorite government institution and will probably never win a popularity contest, especially during an election year. in a recent poll that came out 12%ier this week, it showed of taxpayers like vladimir putin better than the irs. [laughter] me do not look for a shot of on cnn without a shirt riding a horse. [laughter] nation's, we are the
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tax collector, but that is not the whole picture. i believe the public needs to have a clearer idea how important the irs is to the nation and taxpayers. people also need to know the challenges we face moving our agency into the future. in other words, i wish everyone could see firsthand the irs that i see and have come to know and appreciate over my tenure. was duringn where i the interview, focusing on our workforce. in all my years in the public and private sectors, i can honestly say no group of people i have worked with has been more dedicated to their mission than the employees of the internal revenue service. i have also been impressed by the number of people who have spent entire careers serving the public as irs employees. let me give you one example. when i went to visit our detroit office, i'm that a revenue agent who was retiring after 60 years with the agency. 60 years of service.
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i asked angelo if the irs had violated child labor laws when we had hired him, and he assured me he was older than 10 years when he started. i asked why he did not retire when he was eligible 20 years earlier, and he said he liked his job so much that he wanted to keep working because he really believed in public service, and that, to me, was a representation of dedication. when people come to work at the agency, they want to stay because they love their work and the opportunity to provide service. another employee i want to mention has been with the irs for 40 years. bill is a good example of people we often see at the irs who come into the agency and develop careers eventually doing something very different than they did when they first started out. carrying the bag, which at the irs is short hand for working in the field as a revenue officer.
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these are the people who actually collect past-due taxes. bill's career path eventually led him into our communications area where he is a whiz now at putting technical tax information into plain english for taxpayers. he is scheduled to retire in june, and i'm delighted to have the opportunity to thank him and honor him for his service to the irs and to the nation. [applause] angelo and bill are two terrific public servants and both are typical of our workforce. such dedicated employees, the irs could not do its most important job -- delivering a smooth filing season. for most people, their only interaction with the irs, and possibly the u.s. government, each year is to file their tax return and in most cases, received a refund. to the average person, the irs
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may seem like a vending machine. what i have been trying to remind congress and the public it is a lot more complicated than that. processing 115 million individual tax returns and issuing refunds is not automatic and does not happen by accident. it happens because of the commitment, expertise, and can-do attitude of the workforce. to illustrate my point, i'm going to check up on people in the room here -- anonymously, of course -- but consider this your chance to engage in audience participation. how many of you have already filed your tax return? very impressive. you are in good company. we have already received more than 80 million individual tax returns so far on the way to that 150 million total. how many of you are claiming a refund? also pretty typical. how many of you have gotten your refund already?
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very good. i will not ask if you have spent it all. [laughter] so far this year, we have issued more than exceed 5 million refunds out of the 80 million for as we have processed total of almost $190 million -- so far this year, we have issued more than 65 million refunds. effortsh the increased we have put forth to stop identity theft and refund fraud in the battle against criminals around the world, the irs still issues 91% of its refunds in 21 days or less. 's for a minute to think about those amazing numbers. if we are doing our job right, the average person will not notice how much work it takes to pausehese go smoothly -- for a minute to think about those amazing numbers.
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almost 40% of our budget goes to helping taxpayers comply with the law by providing critical services and investing in taxpayer-friendly technology. for example, this year, we've already had 248 billion hits on our website, irs.gov, and answered more than 8 million calls this filing season from taxpayers seeking help or answers to their questions. something else that i think it's overlooked is the amount of effort we put into protecting taxpayer data and the security of our i.t. system. safeguarding taxpayers from the growing problem of identity theft is one of our top priorities, so much so that about a year ago, we convened a security summit to bring together the private sector tax industry, the states, and the irs so we could join forces against the threat of identity .heft and refund fraud
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all of us understood that each of us could not continue to try to deal with the problem on our own if we were going to be successful. since then, this unprecedented partnership has focused our efforts on making sure the tax filing experience would be safer and more secure this filing season and beyond. over the course of the year, we put in place a number of new protections, including you actuallys when logged in to file your return, which is a huge step for taxpayers and administration, giving us a better defense against criminals trying to use stolen tax information to file tax returns and claim a fraudulent refund. because of these procedures, those of you who have already filed may have noticed there were new sign and requirements to access your accounts. many other new safeguards we put in place are invisible to taxpayers, but they are all in valuable to us because they will help us do a better job of protecting everyone during this
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tax filing season, but while the madeity summit group has progress, we also came to realize that we were missing an important partner in this effort -- the taxpaying public. last november, we launched the taxes security together initiative to raise awareness about rings people can do to protect themselves and avoid becoming victims of identity theft. many of the steps we talked , really common sense, but i think we all know someone who may be technically challenged in one way or another, and given that 150 million households file taxes every year, chances are good that someone right now is shouldg on a link they not, skipping a security update, leaving them vulnerable to hackers. that is why having the public help on this effort will greatly strengthen and improve the new tools we are putting in place to
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stop the crime of identity theft. another answer to a question people may not think about or appreciate is the role of the in providing help to the nation. people think of the irs as a tax collector, but what does that mean? the irs brings in about 92% of federal revenue. we collect $50 billion to $60 billion a year through our enforcement activities but trillion comes in from people who voluntarily file their return and pay what they own herein and year out. one of the things i learned in this organization is how efficient we are at collecting those revenues, and i will show what i mean. did you find the envelopes on your chair or plate that look like this? i assume you all followed the instructions that say please do not open until the commissioner explains. the commissioner is about to
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explain. if you do not have one of these, ask your neighbor what he did with yours. were a television situation and you were the haveo audience, you could hoped or even expected or supposed that the envelope might hold something interesting like a key to a new car. well, you've got to remember this is the irs we are talking about, so nobody should get their hopes up. but if you have opened your envelope, what did you see? $.35. that's not even enough to mail a letter these days. before anyone calls in an investigation as to the use of these funds, let me assure you the coins come from our media staff, so i want to thank all of them and their children for andying their cookie jars
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looking behind all the sofa cushions at home to allow us to $.35 from everybody. now let me show what the irs does with that money. suppose i said give me that $.35 and i will give you back this $100 bill. how many of you would take the deal? that's the deal you get with the irs. it may sound like a magic trick, but it is the result of good tax administration. if you add up all the work we do , issuing forms, helping taxpayers, sending notices, it now cost us about ready five us aboutit now costs 35 since to collect $100 in revenue. that's a pretty good deal for the american public and an even better deal when you put it into context. another deal that is often overlooked is the u.s. is much more efficient as a tax
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collecting agency than agencies and other parts of the world. according to statistics compiled by the organization for economic cooperation and development, the agency spends almost twice as much as the united states to collect one dollar in revenue. about 35 centss to collect $100. if congress were to give us the $1 billion increase requested in the president's budget or fiscal year 2017, that means we would be able to do even more. if congress were able to fund the president's budget, we estimate our plan would yield $64 billion over the 10-year budget window that is commonly used. that would average out to about $6 million a year. keep in mind i'm not talking about new taxes. this is money already owed and not collected due to staffing shortages.
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that hard to picture amount of money, but let's try. my crack research staff in their spare time tell me that a stack 100 hundred dollar bills is a little less than half an inch high. you will note we do not have a real life example of what that looks like, but if you multiply oft $10,000 staff, a stack $6 billion of $100 bills would be higher than the length of 60 football fields. those stacks do not go just to the major programs we hear about all the time. they fund many other activities and programs many of us take for granted but would not want to lose, things like maintaining our beautiful national parks, ensuring the safety of the food we eat, guarantees on loans to small businesses and homeowners, benefits for our military veterans.
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all of this is captured in a quote from the great supreme court justice, oliver wendell holmes, which is inscribed over the entrance to building headquarters. justice holmes said taxes are what we pay for a civilized society. that brings me to why i am so concerned about the funding cuts the irs has had to resort since 2010. our budget for this fiscal year is about $900 million below what it was in 2010. 70% of our budget is personnel. we have absorbed cuts primarily by not replacing employees who leave for other jobs or who retire, like angelo and bill. as a result, we expect he irs workforce to shrink by another 2000 or 3000 employees this year, which will bring us to a total of 17,000 full-time throughs lost attrition. those losses have been felt across the irs.
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our compliance programs have suffered as a result of underfunding. a portion of our full-time workforce that has been lost since 2010 includes over 5000 .nforcement personnel as you might imagine, these staffing losses have translated into a steady decline in the number of individual audits over the past six years. last year, in fact, we completed the fewest audits in a decade. plus, our coverage rate was the ,owest it has been since 2004 and that trend line, because of funding constraints, will continue this year. not surprisingly, audit revenue has continued to decline as well. budget, thethe government is forgoing more than $5 billion a year in additional just toent revenue
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achieve those budget savings of feww $100 million -- of a hundred million dollars. these cuts also create risks for our system of compliance. there is also a deeper issue. taxpayer service and enforcement must be seen as two sides of a compliance coin. i mentioned that over $3 trillion comes in every year as a result of people meeting their tax obligations under the law without being asked first. even at the irs, we do not delude ourselves into thinking people enjoy paying taxes. poll i just mentioned showed 27% of people would be willing to get an irs tattoo to avoid paying taxes. as an additional public service announcement, i would like to advise you that my tattoo has been totally ineffective on that score. no matter what your tattoo says,
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you still own us the money. tattooed or not, people keep paying taxes because they believed in the essential fairness of the system. if people begin to think that many other people are not paying their taxes and their fair share or that if they cheat they will not get caught, or they are just frustrated because they cannot get the help they need from us to file their taxes, our tax system will be put at risk. when that happens, they are talking about losing real money. consider that a 1% drop in the compliance rate translates into a revenue loss of over $30 billion a year or $300 billion over the usual 10-year measuring time. when we do get funding, i want to emphasize the irs will continue to put funding to good use. he irs approved a $290 billion boost to irs funding for this fiscal year. designated for
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improving taxpayer service, protecting against identity theft, and strengthening cyber security, all top priorities for the irs as well as for the country. this is the first time in six years the irs has received significant additional funding, and it is a step in the right direction. to illustrate how helpful the funding has been, we used a portion of it to higher a little over 1000 extra temporary employees to help improve our service on the phone. as a result, we are already seeing service improvements this season. the level of service on our 70%, and line is over the average for the entire filing season will probably be 60%, a vast improvement over the somewhat miserable level of service last year. once seasonal employees are gone, we can expect the number to drop significantly simpler because we do not have the running to keep them on longer, and our average for the year tol probably be in the 47%
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50% range, which is still a significant improvement over last year. we want everyone to understand this is not where we ought to be or where taxpayers would like us to be. of service next year for the entire year would the entire year. i should mention another critical challenge that has been by our budget situation. last year, when i spoke to the press club, i said a large portion of our workforce would ,e eligible for retirement soon and the number in the workforce was swindling to the point where the irs was facing its own version of the baby bust. we expect more than 40% of the irs workforce will be able to retire in 2019. looking at the other end of the
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age spectrum, i said last year the irs had only 650 employees under the age of 25. since then, that number has of aed to about 200 out workforce of about 85,000. we worry our under 25 group may end up on the endangered species list. on behalf ofcially those for whom age 25 is a bit of a foggy memory, let me say i know how important it is for any organization to have older workers for their experience and institutional knowledge. the fact that our agency skews a little older is not the problem. i worry about is not having enough young workers in the haveine, so the iris will great difficulty developing the leaders it needs five or 10 years down the road. ultimately, continued underfunding of the irs itsinues to erode effectiveness. my concern is we are getting dangerously close to that point.
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and at a minimum, i do not want anyone to say after my term is over that they did not understand the seriousness of the situation. they can continue to ignore it if they so choose, but at least they will not say they were not warned. i do not want to give anyone the impression we are trying to go back in time. build the going to irs back to that stage, although it's clear we need more staff. what we need to be doing and what we are doing is looking forward to a new, improved way of doing business. if you attended last year's luncheon or tuned in to c-span, you heard me talk about our plan to move into the future and taxpayer experience. this is driven in part by business needs. consider it costs $40 to $60 to provide taxpayer service in person and less than one dollar to provide that service online, so we have to take a fresh look
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at how we provide the best possible taxpayer experience in response to expectations and demand while not losing sight of providing one-on-one help for people who need or desire it. what we are talking about is a new but natural outgrowth of our areem, modernizations that mostly visible to the average taxpayer but have revolutionized their interactions with the internal revenue service. a great example is the customer the firstta engine, phase of which was put in place a few years ago. process taxpayer account information daily instead of on a weekly basis, so we are generating faster refunds, notices, and account updates for better customer service. we converted the old masterfile data stored on our tape drives with 250 million individual accounts and more than 1.2
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billion to modernize and secure so-called rational database for taxpayer accounts and data models. this is transforming tax administration and paving the way for new, digital self services for taxpayers, but do not take my word for it. the gao was so impressed with its development that it them -- it removed our business system list.ts high risk we have been on that list since 1985, and many insiders of the agency thought we would never be removed from it. another major advance was modernized e-file. we can process filings in real time, so we can accept a return and send out an egg knowledge but much faster than we did in the past, and the numbers were amazing. to give you an idea, on our busiest day thus far, our systems accepted 4.4 million tax returns with nearly 450,000
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accepted in one hour at the peak . that's one hundred 25 returns accepted every second. changes like this do not come about without the expertise and know-how to make them happen. in our case, we were or tenet to have the guiding hand of our chief technology officer, whom you have already met. terry came to us in 2010 after a distinguished career in the private sector. in six years with the irs, terry i.t.verseen many critical projects. it is fair to say we had a renaissance in our information technology because of his leadership. i am delighted to be able to salute you and your team today for your infinite patience and thecation in meeting never-ending challenge of improving our i.t. systems, even in the face of ongoing funding costs. thank you. [applause]
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terry is also symbolic of an important change at the irs. congress reorganized the agency in 1998. lawmakers recognize the need to bring in the best minds from the private sector to help modernize agency on aging technology. congress gave us a special tool called streamlined critical pay authority. the most significant part is that it lets us recruit and hire technical and talented i.t. experts as if we were a private sector company. otherwise, we have to tell a great candidate that we really want to hire them, and if they will just it's still for three to six months while we process them through the government hiring system, we can make it work. needless to say, i.t. experts have a lot of competing opportunities that do not come with those challenges.
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unfortunately, a special hiring authority expired at the end of the school year 2013. the loss of that authority seriously harms our ability to recruit the best i.t. and cyber security talent out there. more immediately, 10 of the last 14 people on this authority or senior i.t. executives who turned into pumpkins when their four-year terms under the authority run out. -- his term will expire in a little over three months if the authority is not renewed and one of our key cyber security directors just accepted another position outside toernment rather than wait see what happens. this has real-world implications for the irs and the government. the irs has one of the largest and most sensitive databases in the world. if congress wants to help taxpayers, one of the best things it can do is renew this special hiring authority. our best stepped into the future is to improve operations to the point where taxpayers can do business for the irs online and in a manner that is fast,
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secure, and convenient. as we improve the experience, we understand the responsibility we had to serve the needs of all orpayers, whatever their age station in life. we recognize there will always be taxpayers who do not have access to the digital economy or prefer not to conduct their transactions with the irs in conduct their transactions with the irs online. while we continue to conduct more web-based, taxpayers will always be able to call our help lines or pay in person if that is what they prefer. improving the experience for those of -- those who want to do with us that way will free up resources to make it easier for those who want to call us or visit us in person. building toward this improved online experience for taxpayers, one of our biggest challenges will be to make sure taxpayer
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online accounts are properly protected. our concern is cyber criminals are becoming increasingly sophisticated and global in their activities. they continually find new methods of stealing personal information and gaining access to even more sensitive data than in the past on a regular basis. to that reason, we will need ensure our authentication protocols become more sophisticated. we are moving beyond asking for information that used to be only now ino individuals but many cases is readily available to criminal organizations that have stolen it from other sources. i would note that those sources are outside the internal revenue service, but there is a delicate balance. we need to provide the strongest possible authentication processes that protect taxpayer data without making it almost impossible for legitimate taxpayers to safely access their own data and newer tax basis online. there are interesting challenges, but it is an
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exciting journey we are on. we believe the end result will be a more practical, effective, and efficient approach to tax administration and the irs will be able to do an even better job , more quickly and easily. i know i speak for the entire irs workforce when i say i look forward to continuing to improve our agency and the administration of the tax system. finally, i leave you with one last public service announcement. herer april 18 will be before you know it. i am happy to answer as many questions as i can in the time remaining. thank you. [applause] i would like to announce the chances of terry getting back the $100 bill are very slim. >> thank you, commissioner. i would like to thank you for
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the $.35 as well. commissioner koskinen: if you make the contribution because it is under $250, you do not need an acknowledgment. i also want to apologize for butchering your name as i introduced you. i look forward to this year's audit. with numerous budget cuts, staff reductions and fewer audits, will be compliance rate naturally fall, costing the government revenue and ultimately making it more expensive to collect taxes? it is ourer koskinen: ultimate concern. our experience is -- and we do a lot of research on this -- that while we are a tax-compliant society is primarily because people think the system is fair, but it's also because they have a lot of information.
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if we do not have the withholdings so we actually have to ask for the money but we have third-party information, the compliance rate is about 92%. if we do not have the money and do not have the information, the compliance rate is about 52%. we need to ensure the system is need to ensureso people understand that if you are trying to become compliant, we want to work with you and if you are trying to cut corners and cheat, we really will be coming after you. when the compliance rate starts to drop, a 1% drop that is now costs $30 a 1% drop
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billion a year, but we will never notice that 1%. it would a little while before people suddenly say that it does not appear that revenues are tracking the way they used to. once the psychology changes and people begin to think that the system is not fair and wonder why they should be the only one paying their full share when no one else is, you begin to look a lot more like greece, italy, and other places where compliance rates plummet and revenues drop. it is not an idle concern we all ought to have. integrity of the system has to be maintained because as noted in my top, we fund basically the entire government, and if the revenues drop, deficits will continue to grow up or we will have more service cuts across the board. you, sir. while the fbi found a criminal intent with the political targeting investigation, they did find many people did is
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wrong. anything wrong? chainsioner koskinen: the of command is all gone, and they .ere gone very promptly the permanent commissioner left. the acting commissioner left, and the people down to senior executive level as well. i said from the start that it's clear. there was a significant management failure. applicants should not have to wait months or years to get a response from the internal revenue service. when there is that kind of backlog and problem, problems should be identified early, and it should be known the larger the problem, the farther up the chain of command it should go. the things i try to do with the strong support of senior executives is as we tried an organization get
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every employee to understand they should view themselves as a risk manager and understand if they see a problem, if somebody , the criticale thing is to make sure we know about it because the only problem we cannot ask is one we do not know. as i said in my confirmation hearing, it would be terrific to say we will never have a problem and nobody will ever make a .istake we still have 85,000 employees and we have the world's most complicated tax code, so it is illusionary to think will never have a problem. whenetter system is someone makes a mistake, we will find it quickly, fix it quickly, and be transparent about it. we have accepted all of the ig recommendations, except it all recommendations designed to ensure that problem does not happen again, but a key factor
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going forward is for people to feel comfortable that bad news is good news and that if they report a problem, report a mistake, our answer will not be, "who gets fired," but "let's fix it" and try to make sure it never happens again. president burr: do you think the tax reform code could pass congress, and what about the idea of a flat tax? i alwaysner koskinen: preface my answer by saying tax policy is the domain of the congress. we do tax administration. but as i tell people, the minute i tell you that, you know i'm about to start talking about tax policy. frome said from the start my experience as an individual taxpayer and also the 20 years i spent in the private sector on corporate boards and running large companies if we could simplify the tax code, it would be in everybody's interest.
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i don't think anybody gains from the complexity of the tax code. while again the decisions of how you do it are the domain of other people, i try to make it clear

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